The release of the twice yearly list of the 500 most powerful computers in the world is always pretty interesting. This year, it is again a supercomputer from China that tops the list, for the third consecutive time.
The powerful Tianhe-2 machine was the top dog in the list, while China as a whole now has 20% more computers in the top500 rankings, climbing up for a total of 63 to 76. While the Chinese representation grew significantly, the number of US supercomputers on the list fell by 15%. Despite this, the US total of 233 means that it is still the most heavily represented country on it.
China Almost Matches the UK, Germany and France Combined
However, perhaps the most interesting statistic of all is the fact that China’s 76 machines on the list is similar to the total for the UK, Germany and France put together. The UK has only 30 computers in the top 500 most powerful in the world, while Germany has 23 and France 27.
Since the top500 list started out back in 1992, it has been seen as an accurate indicator of the state of computing advances across the world.
So, how powerful is the world leader, Tianhe-2? Just 33.86 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second), that’0s all. Interestingly, the benchmark of 1 petaflop/s was only broken for the first ever time 5 years ago, with the IBM Roadrunner machine. This computer isn’t on the list as it had to be shut down last year due to its high level of energy consumption.
Now, if we add together all of the supercomputers on the list we get a total of 274 petaflop/s.
How powerful do you think supercomputer will get in the next 5 years?
image dourtesy of top500